Quinoa and Black Beans

About three years ago I made quinoa.  I cooked it in water and didn’t add any spices. It was incredibly bland and tasted…well, “gross” was the only word that came to mind.  In other words, I said to myself “I’m never making this again.”  For that reason, I’m really not selling quinoa to you, but stay with me here.  I kept hearing that quinoa is so healthy and I know a bunch of people that really like it, so I thought I’d give it another try with this recipe.  It may have taken me a few years to get here but I’m glad that I was open-minded.  This dish actually tastes great!

The quinoa picks up flavors from the black beans, corn, onions, and seasoning, making it anything but bland and boring.  This is now one of my favorite vegetarian meal options.

03Quinoa & Black Beans

Quinoa and Black Beans Recipe
(6 to 10 servings, depending on whether you serve it as a main dish or a side dish)


  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 and 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup corn
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • fresh cilantro, garnish (optional)


  1. In a saucepan over Medium heat, heat the oil.
  2. Stir in the chopped onion and minced garlic.  Cook until slightly brown.
  3. Mix in the quinoa, vegetable broth, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in the corn and black beans and continue to simmer about 5 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately.

Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

This dish can be made in about 30 minutes and in only one pot!  How awesome is that?  Start by cooking the chopped onion and minced garlic until they are slightly brown.

01Quinoa & Black Beans

Once you’ve put almost everything else into the pot and brought it to a boil you just need to lower the heat and walk away for 20 minutes.  I set my timer and did some house chores.  Yay for being able to multi-task.     🙂

The aroma from the cumin and cayenne pepper is amazing already!  It smells like we are at a Mexican restaurant.  Where’s the mariachi band?     😉  (Sorry about the steam in the picture below.)

02Quinoa & Black Beans

Quinoa is a grain and is a great source of nutrients and protein.  Think rice, only with almost twice as much protein.  Once it has absorbed the liquid it’s done cooking (also similar to how you cook rice).  Stir in the corn and black beans at the end since they don’t really need much cooking and the goal is just to make them hot with everything else in the pot.

05Quinoa & Black Beans

The wonderful blend of these spices gives it a Mexican twist, especially since there are black beans in this dish.  Black beans in a Mexican dish?  That almost never happens.     😉

There is a variety of textures going on here.  The corn is crunchy, the black beans are soft, and the quinoa is chewy and has that earthy crunchy good for you thing going on sort of like brown rice.  (There’s that comparison to rice again.)

07Quinoa & Black Beans

This healthy dish is packed with so much protein from the quinoa and beans.  It’s an ideal vegetarian dinner or lunch.  You can also use it as a side dish.  I think it would be awesome next to tacos (of course that means it may not be vegetarian meal anymore, but that would be up to you).

06Quinoa & Black Beans

Do you like quinoa?  How do you make it?  Do you say it right?     😉



4 Hats

Source: All Recipes


In the mood for a Mexican themed night?  Here’s a suggested menu and decor.

Appetizer: Black Bean Spread with Tortilla chips

03Black Bean Spread

Dinner: Black Bean & Chicken Chilaquiles



Table Decor:  Fiesta Tablescape




  1. Same here! I kind of hated it the first time I tried it, because I too cooked it with water and NO SALT ((I forgot to add it)). It was hideous :(( But I’ve really grown to like it now. I love how versatile and healthy it is. Plus it’s delicious too!
    Your recipe looks amazing, I love the black beans + quinoa combo! Must try it 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      I’m glad we both gave quinoa a second chance. Let me know if you end up trying this. 🙂

  2. Tahnycooks says:

    I’m glad you gave quinoa another try!!! This looks fabulous!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much!

  3. I’m not big on quinoa but I think you may have converted me. Thanks Tina! 😉

    1. Tina says:

      Lol, really! Well I guess if this recipe converted me… 😉

  4. I love quinoa! I actually cook it in water and then when it’s done, I jazz it up with a vinaigrette and some vegetables. It’s one of my favorite light dinners, especially when I put an avocado in it. This looks yummy with the corn and black beans.

    1. Tina says:

      I love your idea of adding vinaigrette. Sounds delish!

  5. Quinoa and black beans has always been one my most favorite flavor combinations. It makes a great side dish to just about any main course.

    1. Tina says:

      Totally agree!

  6. Quinoa is awesome! Cooked in water.:) With a pinch of salt. Salt helps to bring out the best flavour in food. This looks delicious, Tina!

    1. Tina says:

      It’s amazing what a little salt can do!

  7. Two of my favorite power foods! So colorful and wow, I KNOW this would be delicious. Thanks for the step by step pics!

    1. Tina says:

      Power foods…love that!

  8. Wow! I need this in my life! I have only just started experimenting with quinoa this year, and am looking for some neat ideas 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Awesome! I think it’s fun to experiment. All those winner dishes make up for the not so much ones. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  9. I love quinoa and love the spices you added!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much!

  10. Ashley says:

    You may have convinced me to give quinoa another try. I tried it twice about a year ago and it was just so eh. And my husband really didn’t like it – which is saying a lot since he’ll eat just about anything! haha But with the black beans and spices … maybe it could be much better than I thought!

    1. Tina says:

      My husband is the same! I’m more picky with my food (although I do like a lot), so when we both disliked quinoa cooked in water I knew it wasn’t just me. I’ve learned from this dish that quinoa does pick up the flavors of what’s around it. Cook it with what you love. 🙂

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